Jean-Luc Godard, John Milius, and Werner Herzog visiting Akira Kurosawa at the New York’s Plaza Hotel in the early 80’.
After Kagemusha won the [Palme d’Or at the 1980] Cannes International Film Festival, until 1982, Kurosawa traveled extensively in Europe and the United States, meeting filmmakers everywhere he went and being warmly welcomed. While he was staying in New York’s Plaza Hotel, he received many surprise visitors, including film greats Jean-Luc Godard, John Milius, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese. The combination of Godard and Kurosawa was unusual. Probably he was invited along by Milius and went out of curiosity. Producer Tom Luddy might have come with them as well. We had heard that Milius was a Kurosawa fan, and Kurosawa also had good things to say about his The Wind and the Lion. Milius asked Kurosawa to teach him the martial art of kendo, or Japanese fencing, and did Mifune impersonations, but Godard only sat looking on, smiling, and never spoke to Kurosawa.
Another unusual visitor was the German director Werner Herzog, whose name was then unfamiliar to Kurosawa. There was a book he wanted to give Kurosawa, said Herzog, but he hadn’t been able to find it in the book store and he had a plane to catch, so he had just dropped by to pay his respects. Then the next day, I think it was, he made a special trip to hand-deliver the book—having gone to the trouble of altering his flight reservations to do so. I believe it was a book of drawings. In any case, Kurosawa found this gesture deeply moving. Later, in Japan, Kurosawa took the first opportunity to go see Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and was overwhelmed by its tenacious energy. —Teruyo Nogami, Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies with Akira Kurosawa
All in all, Waiting on the Weather is a marvellous source of information about Kurosawa’s life and working methods, and also the most personal of all Kurosawa publications currently available in English. It may not be quite as extensive as some of the other volumes listed here, but it certainly gives one a behind-the-scenes look in a way that no other book available in English has given. It is also a delightful and light read, which should definitely find its place on every Kurosawa fan’s bookshelf. —Books on Akira Kurosawa
The life story of one of the most influential and controversial film directors in the history of Hollywood, John Milius. From his childhood aspirations to join the military to his formative years at the USC Film School, his legendary work on films such as “Apocalypse Now”, “Jaws”, “Conan The Barbarian”, “Dirty Harry” and “Red Dawn” to his ultimate dismissal from Hollywood due to his radical beliefs and controversial behavior. The film includes in depth interviews with Milius himself and others such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Francis Ford Coppola, Harrison Ford, Michael Mann, Robert Zemeckis, Oliver Stone, Bryan Singer, Charlie Sheen, Matthew Weiner and more.
More: John Milius
“Francis said, ‘If I die, you’ll finish it. And if you die, George will finish it. And if George dies — what do you think about Ken Russel?’” —John Milius
This is a rare early interview with the legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. He talks about his films, his studio, his vineyard home, actors, George Lucas and his then-current movie “Apocalypse Now”.
Original screenplay by John Milius. Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s “HEART OF DARKNESS”. This draft by Francis Ford Coppola. December 3, 1975. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
More: Apocalypse Now
INTERVIEWED BY ERIK BAUER
Creative Screenwriting, VOLUME 7, #2 (MARCH/APRIL 2000)
You know that line in “Dirty Harry” in which Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan describes the power of the .44 Magnum? John Milius wrote that line. Remember the line in “Jaws” when Robert Shaw, playing the shark hunter, talks about his buddies being eaten alive by sharks during World War II? That was Milius. How about the line in “Apocalypse Now,” when Robert Duvall, playing a surf-loving Army colonel, says, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”? Milius again.
John Milius interviewed by Francis Ford Coppola:
Script for John Milius’ ‘Apocalypse Now’ for your downloading and reading pleasure:
“My film is not a movie. My film is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam. It’s what it was really like. It was crazy. And the way we made it was very much like the way the Americans were in Vietnam. We were in the jungle. There were too many of us. We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane.” —Francis Ford Coppola, Cannes Film Festival, 1979
The following was taken from the creator and film editor Brian Carroll’s Vimeo Site:
August 15, 2012 is the 33rd Anniversary of the U.S. premiere of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad’s story is about a boat captain named Marlow who travels along a river deep into “the heart of an immense darkness” in order to find a man named Kurtz. One of the many themes of Heart of Darkness is the idea that a person can lose their mind the further they travel away from civilization into the unknown.This theme is paralleled in Apocalypse Now and by Coppola’s own journey in completing his most personal film. The documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse is a compilation of Eleanor Coppola’s interviews, on-the-set footage and secret audio recordings of her husband at his most exposed moments. Coppola’s many struggles included an unfinished script, Marlon Brando showing up overweight, typhoons destroying entire sets and Martin Sheen having a heart attack during production. The above cut is a mix of Orson Welles’ reading of Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.
The iconic helicopter attack sequence in HD: